Last week I shared with y’all that this month I’m reading this Bible plan that focuses on scripture about women. Well recently I’ve been re-reading about Esther.
Here’s a summary: Queen Vashti threw a banquet for the women during King Xerxes’ banquet for the princes and nobles after 180 days of festival celebrations. She refused to come when he called for her, which embarrassed the King — he had been drinking and wanted her to show up in her crown to show off in front of all the Royal folks. His people said he had to take a stance so other women will stay in their places – obedient to their husbands. So, they brought in a bunch of young virgins so the king could choose the next Queen (and stockpile additional concubines of course). Esther was among the virgins. Esther’s folks died so she was raised by her cousin Mordecai. He told her not to tell them that she was a Jew. She ended up gaining favor with everyone and the king chose her. The King’s right hand man was mad because Mordecai wouldn’t bow to him so he talked the king into decreeing that all Jews be put to death. Mordecai and the Jews went into mourning.
And here we go…
1. Folks told Esther and her first response was to send clothes to replace Mordecai’s burlap and ashes. Now, my first thought was did she forget who she was? If the person that raised her is in mourning clothes at the palace gates then why you isn’t trying to send new clothes like he ain’t got no clothes? Did she think of him as the crazy uncle and was trying to make appearances look better by sending new clothes? However, as I thought more I began to think that maybe she sent clothes so that he would be able to enter the palace gates and disclose what the issue was to her.
2. Mordecai refused those clothes so Esther sent her attendant out to find out what was wrong. Now why she ain’t do that to start with? He told the attendant everything that was going on and that Ester needed to go to the King and deal with it (plead for her people).
3. Esther was stuck on the King’s policy of death if someone approaches his inner court uninvited, but then Mordecai had to remind her of who she was…a Jew. He basically told her she gone die too when they kill all the Jews. Esther had to find some courage and go reveal to the King that what was happening and that she was Jewish.
Esther had to be reminded that her current position in the palace wouldn’t shield her from her past – from her birth – from her reality of being a Jew.
Perhaps you were made Queen for such a time as this — is ultimately what Mordecai told her and is the part that resonates most with me. As someone in a different place than most of my family, I have to remember who I am and where I came from so that I don’t lose sight of God’s Plans for my life. Perhaps my journey through different universities and obtaining different degrees was for such a time as now when I can help my nieces and nephews coming up behind on this academic pathway. This story is a reminder to me that I can’t quickly disregard my hometown or the people in it. That perhaps I am positioned to be a person to intercede for such a time as this — when there are limited opportunities for others in my old neighborhood to make it out and reach back to help others.
I need to do better.